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An Ayurvedic wellness retreat in Telangana is providing mental health assistance with a customised dina charya that includes yoga, meditation, panchakarma therapies, diet and more 

Published: 03rd October 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2021 04:17 PM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

Amy sounds casual informing her boss in the new Netflix series Super Store that she is taking a mental health break for the day, but it’s an all too familiar routine for people with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. In reality, it is an SOS call. Ayurveda acharya Raja Reddy has been getting many calls for help since 2020.

“It wasn’t immunity-boosting treatments or freedom from Covid, but manahshanthi that most people, who reached out to us over the last year, need,” says Reddy, the founder of Aradhana Ayurveda Wellness Retreat in Bhainsa, Telangana. “They’ve lost money, let them not lose their health,” he adds.
Dr Reddy, who has been an acharya for over 28 years, says SOS calls for mental health assistance  have spiked since May 2020. Uncertainty, lack of hope, mounting debts, all due to Covid lockdown, have taken a toll on health, and escalated the demand for therapy. 

His treatment package is aimed at millennials suffering from depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and hypertension. It focuses on IT professionals, in particular. “Instead of a hospital stay in a concrete jungle, an ashram-like environment speeds up healing. We have a herbal garden around the facility that provides a nourishing environment,” he says.

The seven-day course begins with consultation with a nadi expert or a pulse reader. Then there is prakruthi pariksha or a health assessment. What follows is a customised dina charya or a daily regimen that includes yoga, meditation, panchakarma therapies, diet, and preventive approaches. RC Arun, a physician at the centre, explains that first a clean-up and then a fill-up are two important steps in the healing process. “Imagine a dirty glass with dirty water. We need to discard the water, wash the glass inside out and fill in fresh water. Consider your body as a glass. We do the same cleansing process using Ayurveda, breathing, yoga, diet and meditation in the manahshanthi package,” he shares.

In Ayurveda, including the approach towards mental health, is that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. “We use music therapy and reflexology to fill in the gaps. Mental disorders are due to undesirable chemical secretions in the body that mess with the mind and body. People eat and drink things that either cause or worsen this condition. In the end, the problem becomes an endless loop. Our aim is to break that,” says Arun. 

Their clients include CEOs of multinational companies, corporate management, apart from an American credit card company, and other professionals. The doctors at the retreat say that one of the biggest  mental health myths is that taking a break or a holiday with loved ones makes you feel better. “Not many realise that digestion and diet can cause anxiety and depression even on a break.

A healthy gut can calm and steady a turbulent mind, which is why we emphasise on dina charya or daily rituals that start at dawn and end at dusk, for best results,” share the doctors at the retreat. One-hour counselling sessions, regardless of ailment, are part of the routine. It is charted depending on the gender, age, health, part of the day and the time of the year. “It is shocking that allopathy does not consider the last two factors, while administering medicines,” they say. Things don’t fall apart at this centre, where tradition holds the key to treating modern maladies.


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